Several months ago, the third installment of the Pitch Perfect franchise was announced for release in 2017. After it's sequel came out with more negative reviews than the original, it was a surprise to many that the 'threequel' would be happening.
I do have faith, however, that Universal may be able to pull through and make the third film better than the first two. They were quick to announce it and many cast members quickly signed on to return. But, in order to succeed, they will have to start moving away from their formula (which has been used in both films already) and start to tell a new side of the story. To do this, they need to look to their television doppelganger.
Similarities between Pitch Perfect and Glee so far:
Though the two different franchises tend to stay away from each other (avoiding similar songs, taking place at different points in people's lives, etc.), one can't deny that they are very similar. The first Pitch Perfect was only a little similar to Glee's first season, but there is no denying that Pitch Perfect 2 was extremely similar to Glee's second and third season.
Similarities between Pitch Perfect and Glee Season 1:
- An overeager, brunette girl with a strong, musical background joins a singing group and tries to take control.
- A popular, blonde girl appears to be better than the main girl in almost every way.
- The team is almost disqualified at one point, but manages to come back in order to perform at the final competition.
- Many members believe one of the other members is gay, who later reveals them self to be gay.
- The absurd concept of original songs is used to help win the competition.
- The team travels to a distant, big-city location for the final competition (New York City in Glee, Copenhagen in Pitch Perfect 2)
- Senior members of the team contemplate their future lives after school.
- The main character explores the music community they seek to enter outside of the team.
These are only a few of the similarities. It's rather clear that Pitch Perfect's story was at least partially inspired by Glee, even if the filmmakers won't admit it. But where will they go from here? What Glee plot will they be 'inspired by' next? This is when it gets dangerous for them.
What Pitch Perfect 3 should not take from Glee's later seasons
The most hated seasons of Glee that lost them a majority of their remaining fans were the fourth and fifth seasons. This is likely because, instead of following the same story, Glee practically turned their show into two spin-off shows: one of the Glee club members in college, and the other about the new Glee club members.
It became hard to follow and there was no longer a clear, main goal for all of the characters. The problem Pitch Perfect may face is this same dilemma that Glee had during these two seasons. They have already confirmed that the graduated Bellas like Becca, Chloe and Fat Amy will be returning, but a recent report said that the newest member, Emily, will also be returning. The last we saw Emily, she was inheriting the Bellas to start her new team.
This is a very dangerous game for the third movie, as they may try to tell the stories of the graduated Bellas after college and the story of the new team of Bellas. This did not work well for Glee, and it will certainly not work well in movie form. So what should they learn from Glee?
What Pitch Perfect 3 should take from Glee's final season
Though seasons 4 and 5 of Glee were rather unsuccessful, it's sixth and final season of the show drew many fans back. This is because, unlike its previous seasons, it was no longer two combined spin-offs. Glee had returned to its roots and ended the show on a phenomenal note. Everyone once again shared a similar goal and the bond we had seen from the first couple seasons had finally returned.
Pitch Perfect 3 could do this as well, without even losing its roots along the way. Since the third movie takes place a couple years after the second (presumably), it would be able to skip the early careers of the team members (which bored Glee fans for two years during seasons 4 and 5).
The movie could start by showing Becca losing her way in her career. From there, she returns to Barden University to see what happened to the Bellas. She will find them as lost as she is, if not even more lost. From there, Becca would reassemble a few of her friends (Fat Amy, Chloe, maybe a few others) and help Emily bring the Bella's back to their former glory.
This would closely follow Glee, where Rachel came back after losing her way in her acting career and helped rebuild the disassembled Glee club. Of course, Pitch Perfect would have to make a few changes from the formula above, but creating a new, yet similar, adaptation will only help create a phenomenal ending to the franchise.